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How will North Macedonia line up at UEFA Euro 2020?

Wed 09 June 2021 | 15:00

The North Macedonia national football team which is administrated by the Football Federation of Macedonia would be a competitor in the Euro 2020, but which 11 players would represent their country stays a question, but we are here to predict North Macedonia 11-men formation in this competition.

If we move back in the time, Macedonia was drawn with Spain, Denmark, Belgium, Cyprus, and Armenia in the Euro 96 Qualifiers, which was their first major qualifying event as an independent nation.

Macedonia was drawn against defending European Champions Denmark in their first game, which was also their first official match. The game ended 1–1 in Skopje on September 7, 1994, with Macedonia leading for the majority of the game after scoring in the fourth minute. They finished fourth in their group with seven points but were unable to qualify for Euro 96.

Macedonia was assigned to Group E for the Euro 2008 qualifiers on January 27, 2006, in Switzerland, alongside England, Croatia, Russia, Israel, Estonia, and Andorra. Former Slovenian national team coach Srecko Katanec was named head coach on February 17, 2006, and was granted a two-year contract.

Despite some unexpected outcomes, Macedonia finished fifth in its group with 14 points, failing to qualify for the Euro 2008 Finals.

After the Prespa Accord went into effect on February 12, 2019, Macedonia was renamed North Macedonia. North Macedonia was assigned to Group G for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying tournament. North Macedonia's first two remarkable performances, a 1–1 away draw with Slovenia and a 3–1 home victory against Latvia, have raised their hopes of qualifying for the first-ever UEFA Euro.

North Macedonia eventually defeated Kosovo 2–1 at home in the first game of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs, increasing their chances of making a historic Euro debut against Georgia in the final of Path D's playoffs on November 13. North Macedonia defeated Georgia 1–0 in an away match in the Path D play-off final.

How will North Macedonia line up at UEFA Euro 2020?

North Macedonia is a 3-4-1-2 kind of team. Three players make up the backline in this type of play; these players are known as center backs because they protect their goal by exploiting the central spaces.

In front of these players are four midfielders who can be divided and deployed in a variety of ways, but their primary purpose is to provide defensive line support and team width.

In this system, there are three attackers: a number 10 role and two normal attackers. Naturally, different tactical roles and tasks can be assigned to these players.

Now you may ask who did

North Macedonia

bring to this tournament to fill in the roles? Well, here are the names:

  • Goalkeepers:

    Stole Dimitrievski, Risto Jankov Damjan Sikovski,

  • Defenders:

    Stefan Ristovksi, Visar Musliu, Darko Velkovski, Gjanni Alioski, Kire Ristevski Egzon Bejtulai,, Gjoko Zajkov

  • Midfielders:

    Arijan Ademi, Elif Elmas, Boban Nikolov, Enis Bardhi, Stefan Spirovski, Ferhan Hasani, Tihomir Kostadinov, Daniel Avramovski, Marijan Radeski

  • Forwards:

    Goran Pandev, Vlatko Stojanovksi, Darko Churlinov, Aleks Trajkovski, Ivan Trickovski, Milan Ristovski, Krste Velkoski

Now, right before we get into the article and see North Macedonia Euro 2020 squad prediction let's look at the fixtures of this team (All times are based on Central Europe):

Sunday 13 June (18:00):

Austria vs North Macedonia

(Bucharest)

Thursday 17 June (15:00):

Ukraine vs North Macedonia

(Bucharest)

Monday 21 June (18:00):

North Macedonia vs Netherlands

(Amsterdam)

Now let’s see who the players that we chose for the

North Macedonia squad for Euro 2021

are.

GK: Stole Dimitrievski

Our first nominee for

North Macedonia Euro 2020 squad

is

Stole Dimitrievski

.

Dimitrievski made his full international debut on November 12, 2015, in a 4–1 friendly defeat of Montenegro at the Philip II Arena, after represented Macedonia at the under-17, under-19, and under-21 levels. He was picked up for the postponed UEFA Euro 2020 finals, his country's first major tournament, in May 2021.

CB: Visar Musliu

This unique player is a right fit for our

North Macedonia Euro 2020

selection.

On August 5, 2019, he switched from

Shkendija

to Fehervar, a Hungarian outfit. From 2013 to 2017, Musliu was a member of Macedonia's national under-21 football team, winning 12 caps.

He was a member of Macedonia's first U21 generation to qualify for a final event, where he also got to participate in the final game of the group stage, replacing Marjan Radeski in the 28th minute of the match against Portugal. This athlete has a high chance to be in the North Macedonia squad for Euro 2021.

CB: Darko Velkovski

Darko Velkovski

has been a member of the national team since 2014 and he would be in the North Macedonia squad for Euro 2021 due to his experience.

He made his senior debut for North Macedonia in a friendly match against China in June 2014 and has earned a total of 26 caps, scoring one goal, as of December 2020.

CB: Egzon Bejtulai

Egzon Bejtulai is a player which earned a spot in our

North Macedonia Euro 2020

selection because of his performance.

Bejtulai was a regular in the Macedonia U21 team and played as the first right back choice at the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Poland.

He was also called up for Macedonia in friendlies against Azerbaijan, Iran, and Belarus in May 2016 and March 2017, but he did not make his debut until September 6, 2018, in the first round of the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League D tournament, when he came on in the 85th minute against Gibraltar.

LWB: Egzijan Alioski

Next on the

North Macedonia Euro 2020

list is Egzijan Alioski.

Alioski made his Premier League debut on September 19, 2020, as a 70th-minute replacement for Patrick Bamford in the team's 4–3 victory over Fulham at home. This footballer had been in the starting lineup three days prior, scoring the game's sole goal — in extended time — in Leeds' 1–1 League Cup second-round draw against Hull City.

On 5 October 2020, he made his Premier League debut against Manchester City, replacing Jack Harrison, who was ineligible to play against his original club due to a contract dispute. He scored his first Premier League goal in a 5–2 home triumph over Newcastle United on December 16, 2020.

Alioski scored his final goal of the season in a 5–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on the road. He was linked with a move to Galatasaray in March 2021, generating a stir among Leeds supporters.

On September 5, 2016, he scored his first international goal against Albania in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification match. He began his international career as a left-wing-back for his country before being moved to a more aggressive midfield position. His defensive skills are great compared to the players of his era and he has a place in our North Macedonia Euro 2020 selection.

RWB: Stefan Ristovski

Another defensive player named Stefan Ristovski found his way into our North Macedonia Euro 2020 squad.

He joined GNK Dinamo Zagreb on February 2, 2021. He made his Dinamo debut in a derby against Osijek on February 13th. He was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in his debut. Ristovski made his Macedonian debut in an away friendly against Azerbaijan on August 10, 2011, and has earned 52 caps, scoring one goal, as of April 2020.

Let’s see who’s next on the North Macedonia Euro 2020 list.

CM: Boban Nikolov

Next on the list of North Macedonia Euro 2020 is

Boban Nikolov

.

Nikolov made his Liga I debut for Viitorul Constanța on March 8, 2013, in a 4-1 loss to Gaz Metan Mediaș. Boban scored his debut Liga I goal in a 5-2 win over Steaua București on May 19. Lecce, an Italian Serie B club, signed him on January 19, 2021.

Nikolov made his official debut against Azerbaijan on May 29, 2016, and scored his first goal against Liechtenstein in a 2018 World Cup qualification on March 24, 2017. In addition, he was a regular in the U21 and U19 age groups, where he also served as captain. He has a total of 22 caps, with two goals, as of April 2020.

CM: Arijan Ademi

Arijan Ademi has played both for Croatia national team and North Macedonia and will be the main part of the North Macedonia Euro 2020.

He made his official debut against Luxembourg in a UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying match on October 9, 2014. Despite being injured both times, Ademi played in North Macedonia's 2–1 and 1–0 UEFA Euro 2020 playoff triumphs over Kosovo and Georgia, respectively, helping North Macedonia reach their first major tournament in history.

Ademi assisted Elif Elmas on the winning goal in the 2–1 victory over Germany in the 2022 World Cup qualifier in Duisburg on March 31, 2021. It was Germany's first World Cup qualification loss since September 1, 2001, and their third overall.

AM: Eljif Elmas

This player played a crucial role in the 2022 World cup qualification of North Macedonia. During the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification, he scored the game-winning goal for Macedonia in a 2–1 away win over Germany on March 31, 2021. It is estimated that he would also be a valuable player in the North Macedonia Euro 2020.

S.S.C. Napoli of Serie A announced the signing of Elmas from Fenerbahçe on July 24, 2019. The agreement was reportedly valued at €16 million, with bonuses bringing the amount to €19 million, including a €1.5 million sell-on fee clause. After speaking to reporters while on international duty in November 2019, he was disciplined by his new club for violating a club media restriction.

On 3 February 2020, Elmas scored his first goal for Napoli in a 4–2 victory over Sampdoria, securing the club's third win in a row in all competitions.

ST: Aleksandar Trajkovski

An exceptional finisher,

Aleksandar Trajkovski

is the next North Macedonia Euro 2020 player on the list.

The Macedonian U21 national team defeated the Netherlands 1–0 in a friendly on May 22, 2012, with Aleksandar Trajkovski scoring the lone goal.

He made his senior debut for Macedonia in a friendly match against Azerbaijan in August 2011 and has 54 caps, scoring 15 goals, as of May 2020.

He signed a five-year contract with Italian Serie A club Palermo in the summer of 2015. He was named "Macedonian footballer of the year" in the same year. Palermo was released along with all other players in July 2019 after being kicked out of Serie B.

Trajkovski signed a four-year contract with La Liga newcomers RCD Mallorca on August 7, 2019.

ST: Goran Pandev

Pandev

, regarded as one of Macedonia's finest players of all time, is a speedy, creative, and hard-working left-footed forward with good technique, capable of both creating and scoring goals thanks to his opportunism and shooting accuracy, as well as his vision and passing skill.

He can play in a variety of offensive roles, including winger, second striker, and attacking midfielder, but he has also played as a striker and a false-9.

All of the factors mentioned are the reason we chose this athlete as one of the players for our North Macedonia Euro 2020.

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